ALTOONA, BLAIR COUNTY, PA (WTAJ) — New restrictions put forth by Governor Wolf include a one-day limitation on alcohol sales. Bars and restaurants won’t be able to distribute alcohol between 5 p.m on Wednesday and 8:00 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning.
During a time where a business should be booming, it could leave a financial impact on small area businesses. Thanksgiving Eve is one of the busiest days for bars and restaurants. The owners we spoke with say they’re very unhappy with these changes. Rich McGarvey, owner of McGarvey’s Bar & Grill in Altoona says if the state wants to continue limiting bars and restaurants, then they should be paying for it. He says “I don’t understand why we are the problem when you can go to a big box store and wander around there for an hour or hour and a half and bump into 150 people.”
Governor Wolf’s press release also says that until further notice, indoor gatherings are limited to 10% maximum occupancy. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 15% bringing another hard hit on PA’s bars and restaurants. McGarvey says “I think what’s going to happen now is because people can’t go to a bar and hang out, they’re just going to go have house parties where there will be no governing body whatsoever, there will be no mask-wearing, they’ll be no 6 feet separation whatsoever.”
Steve Horton, Owner of ‘Cobrh’s Lounge’ and ‘Cobrhs 2’ agrees that these businesses are being too limited with too little help. Horton says “maybe it’s not our business that are causing the spikes in everything. We’re being closed unjustly…These businesses that have been hanging on by a thread, my fear is they’re not going to make it.”
The new mitigation does not impact beer and wine distributors.